Canada-New Zealand Youth Mobility Agreement

November 14, 2014 – Auckland, New Zealand – The Government of Canada is committed to strengthening its ties with New Zealand and empowering Canadian youth to broaden their horizons and develop a better understanding of other countries and cultures. To this end, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Prime Minister John Key today announced an amendment to the Canada-New Zealand Youth Mobility Agreement – an initiative within the International Experience Canada (IEC) program – which extends the duration of work permits issued to youth from Canada and New Zealand from 12 to 23 months. The announcement was made during Prime Minister Harper’s bilateral visit to New Zealand from November 13 to 14, 2014.

The IEC is an initiative that helps youth between 18 and 35 years of age experience the world by travelling, living and working abroad. IEC started as a cultural exchange program with Germany in 1951 and, in the 60 years since its creation, has expanded to include 32 mobility agreements with foreign governments.

The program, which is administered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, gives Canadian youth the opportunity to broaden their perspective of the world and Canada’s place in it through international travel and work experience that advances their careers and fosters people-to-people ties. This strengthens relationships between Canada and partner countries. IEC also helps to build a competitive global work force that contributes to Canada’s economic success.

Canada and New Zealand signed a Youth Mobility Agreement (YMA) under the IEC in 1997 and amended it in 2010. The 2010 YMA enabled Canadian and New Zealand youth between the ages of 18 and 35 to participate in the working holiday category of IEC for a maximum duration of 12 months. With 1,044 Canadians and 1,668 New Zealanders participating in IEC in 2013, the program is very successful on both sides, and New Zealand remains a favourite destination among Canadian youth taking part.

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